Carolyn Nakagawa

Carolyn Nakagawa is a playwright and poet living on unceded Indigenous territory known as Vancouver, Canada, where she was born and grew up. She is currently working for the Nikkei National Museum, and writing a full-length play about The New Canadian newspaper and its legacy for present-day Japanese Canadians.

Updated February 2019

culture en

Canada's Nikkei National Museum launches core exhibit with stories of being Nikkei

What is nikkei? We at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby, BC, Canada have been asked this question many times since we opened in 2000. Our 1000-square-foot gallery space has hosted a number of informative and fascinating exhibits since then, from pieces of Japanese Canadian history such as our Levelling the Playing Field exhibit on the Vancouver Asahi baseball team (2005-2006); to contemporary art exhibits of Japanese Canadian artists like Yo-in: Reverberations (2012); to Japanese cultural exhibits like Kimono Culture (2017). But we’ve lacked the display space to offer a permanent exhibit on Japanese Canadian history, from ...

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The New Canadian's poetic spirit

In 1943, British Columbia MLA Mrs. F.J. Rolston called Japanese Canadians “unimaginative, unromantic and steeped in a cult of deceit” in an address to the Port Arthur Women’s Canadian Club in Ontario. Commenting on this in The New Canadian, columnist K.W. lamented: “We’ve been so many things before, it doesn’t faze us a bit. But “unromantic, unimaginative”! Mrs. Rolston, you cut us to the quick!”1.

Already treated as enemy aliens, banished from their homes, and effectively condemned as saboteurs by their own government when the reason for their forced removal was given as “national ...

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Picture of a Bride

If there’s one thing we have a lot of here at the Nikkei National Museum (NNM), it’s photographs—we are always sifting through our database, scanning more images, and taking in new donations and loans from different families. That isn’t to say we don’t also have a lot of fascinating artefacts—from old dresses and uniforms to musical instruments, tools, and even swords—as well as artwork, books, and documents, though for me, the photographs feel like the heart of the collection. They’re usually the thing that ends up telling me the most when I ...

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food en

Nikkei Chronicles #5 — Nikkei-go: The Language of Family, Community, and Culture

Cindy Mochizuki's PAPER: a meal within a story; a story within a meal.

It’s a misty Sunday afternoon, and I am walking down to the ferry dock at the Yaletown Marina. I barely make the recommended 3:15 p.m. arrival time, and a small group of about twelve people is already waiting. Among the group I’m happy to see Momoko and Maki, who both used to work with me until recently at the museum, local writer Lydia Kwa, and of course Cindy Mochizuki, the artist who has brought us all out here.

Cindy’s assistant hands out oversized headphones and gives us instructions on how to handle them. Don’t ...

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